I would say that if A8 (2018) is the flagship phone from Samsung, it is actually not too far-fetched. Even Huawei’s Flagship Mate 10 Pro comes with ‘only’ Full HD OLED screen and the A8 already have Full HD.
But what makes it ‘Flagship’ in my books is the ability to have all the bells and whistles to be the most versatile tool. Dual SIM with MicroSD card slot? Check. IP68? Check. 4GB RAM? Check. 32GB? Okay a bit too small for flagship but good enough when you can have a MicroSD card slot.
And get this. The 3.5 stereo jack is still around.
If you want the larger A8 Plus, it will also come with a larger battery, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
So yes, a ‘flagship’ is not just the aesthetics but also its practicality. I put more weighting on practicality. Mirror finish that attracts fingerprints is not practical but downright dirty and high maintenance. What’s the point of all the mirror surfaces hiding behind a smartphone case? Or worse, suffer cracks the moment you dropped it?
A flagship phone means it has everything, can be used everywhere, every time with no worries at a speed that is fast (subjective but lag should not happen).
How about the camera? Good question. A8 seems to be given a stripped down version of a camera user interface. I can harbour an educated guess that the A8 has a great camera as well but the user interface on first glance (yes I saw it) is designed to cripple the A8 so the flagships Note 8 and S8 are seen as ‘better’ in this department.
Again it is educated guess when it comes to actual image quality but really, even the differences between a high end DSLR and a beginner DSLR is more about better autofocus, handling and more options and features.
For example…3fps for entry level DSLRs versus 11fps continuous shot for Pro Level DSLRs. But nowhere is the camera being hampered by not having controls. Imagine beginner DSLRs have no Aperture, Shutter and Manual control.
That’s a travesty quite honestly. And in a competitive market such as now, a product can’t be seen as handicapped just because it has the potential to outshine the Flagships.
I can only say, Samsung should have some faith in their products. Like what I have said about Nikon and Canon in the past. You can’t segregate your customers that way. If you want to stay in the business, then provide the best product you can garner for that particular segment. There will be people out there who won’t like the looks of the A8 and only wait for the S9 or Note 9 and pay top dollar for it.
If the A8 doesn’t entice the customers you will only push them to competitors.
Anyway, I do want to try the Samsung A8 no matter what so let’s see how this goes. After all, I want to give provide the best picture (pun intended) of the product I review that will show the good, the bad and the ugly to let the people decide.
Here’s my link to the Hands On article on Techgoondu: